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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Life dream: ACCOMPLISHED. Last night, my childhood best friend & I saw our favorite movie of all time come to life on stage. We paid an arm & a leg for our tickets, our transportation, our lodging - but when that curtain rose, there was no question that it was well worth every single penny & every bit of pre-trip planning stress. To see "NEWSIES" in lights on a Broadway marquee; to hear the first notes of "Santa Fe" played by a professional orchestra; to be two smiling, crying faces in a sea of hundreds of others who cheered so hard that the actors delayed their transitions between scenes to allow time for the whoops & hollers to die down.

The rumors you may have heard are true: The stage version is not the movie version. The beloved character of Denton, originally played by Bill Pullman, has been replaced by a strong fermale lead named Katharine, a reporter who also becomes the object of Jack's affections. Jack himself is no longer a cowboy but instead an artist, one who paints his Santa Fe dreams on canvas rather than stealing horses to act them out. David is bumbling & nerdy, a mere shadow of the smart, feisty movie character who stands up to Jack when he dares to cross the picket line for pay. A number of my favorite lines were cut, lines like, "For a dream night's the only time of day," and "I say that what you say is what I say." The grit is largely gone, Brooklyn reduced to a gimmicky musical number instead of slingshots & sass & Spot Conlon.

Still, I understand why they made most of the changes they did. I understand that the stage is not the screen, & certain accomodations need to be made in order to smoothly transition from one medium to another. Did it break my heart to hear new lyrics to "King of New York"? Of course. But does a modified stage adaptation at all dimish the magic of the movie I grew up on? Not at all. Seeing "Newsies" on a live stage, performed by real actors with voices bigger than Christian Bale could ever dream of, was magical in its own right - & seeing it with my best friend of nearly 20 years made it all the more special.

What's that you say? Oh, you want some pictures? Well, OK. If you insist.

Here were are as we left our hotel, all accidentally matching & me without a jacket despite the fact that the temperature quickly dropped to below 30.

Here we are the moment we spotted the "Newsies" marquee, tickets in hand as we waited to cross the threshhold into the Nederlander Theater, formerly home to "RENT."

Here we are sneaking a prohibited in-theater photo with our Playbills just before the lights went down & the curtain went up & we both burst into happy tears.

Here we are after the show, taking a myriad cheesy photos with the signs that plastered the show locale:

Here we are with Kara Lindsay, the young starlet who made her Broadway debut playing new character Katharine Plumber:

Here we are with Andrew Keenan-Bolger, who plays affable gimp Crutchy (and arguably the best of the cast), outside the theater after the show:

And here we are just a few hours ago, sporting the "Newsies" shirts that were among the many (absurdly expensive) souvenirs we bought at the show:

You get your picture in the papes, you're famous. You're famous, you get anything you want. That's what's so great about New York.

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